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Improve your health by making your wardrobe ‘greener' with these natural fibres

by , 12 July 2013

If you thought it's only your food and personal care products that are laden with harmful chemicals, you're wrong! Not even your clothing is immune to having the presence of chemicals in them. From how the materials that are used to make your clothes were created to how they're processed, there's a chemical involved somewhere along the way. The alternative to such chemically-laden clothing is to shop for clothes that are ‘environmentally friendly'. Here are five natural fibres you should know about if you want to protect your health by making your wardrobe greener.

After the personal care products you use daily, the next closest thing to your skin is the layers of clothing you wear each day.

And that’s why it’s important that you take steps to protect your health by reducing your exposure conventionally processed clothing.

You don’t have to look further than natural fibres!

The greatest hallmark of natural fibres is that the majority of them are derived from renewable and sustainable sources. Materials come from sources that can grow back quickly and that don’t require a chemical bath to produce abundantly, they do it naturally, explains Going Green Cheap and Easy.

Also, a great deal of effort goes into the careful manufacture of these fibres into clothing to ensure the least amount of chemical processing is used. And when chemicals are used during processing, safer alternatives are used than you’d find in conventionally manufactured clothing.

Five environmentally friendly fibres you should consider buying

#1: Hemp: Hemp is a plant that’s a wide variety of beneficial uses, one of which is using its fibres to create clothing. These fibres are strong. In fact, hemp has a long history in the making of rope used for ships because of its resistance to rot.

The hemp plant actually enriches the soil it’s grown in, adding nutrients back in rather than leaching it to the hilt before harvest. Also, it’s fast-growing, making it an excellent sustainable resource for clothing manufacture.

#2: Bamboo: If you’ve ever planted a little bamboo, you’ll know it grows fast, spreading well beyond the original space planned for it. It’s for this reason that it’s another excellent renewable resource.

It’s also strongly resistant to pests. Bamboo clothing has the capability of wicking away perspiration, making it a very comfortable material to wear in summer.

#3: Linen: Linen is a fabric made from the fibres of the flax plant, but it can also sometimes confusingly refer to fabric made from cotton or hemp. Look for ‘organic linen,’ because regardless of what the actual fibre source is, it’ll have been grown without pesticides.

#4: Silk: A natural fibre spun by silk moth larvae, silk is a renewable resource as well as a biodegradable one. Be sure to look for ‘eco silk’, since the conventional processing of silk can be done using harsh chemicals such as dioxin and formaldehyde.

#5: Organic wool: For wool to be considered organic, its production must strictly adhere to federal standards set for the raising of organically certified livestock. The wool isn’t chemically treated throughout the process of production, which means no pesticides or hormones are used.

Remember, you don’t have to give up on the whole idea of fashion just because you’re interested in living a greener, healthier lifestyle. Companies that blend fashion-forward pieces with a greener way of creating them are increasingly popping up.

So start making subtle changes to your shopping habits by reading labels and looking at a piece of clothing and thinking of the processing it may have gone through to arrive in your hands.

“Knowing that something was created from a pesticide and chemical-laden birth will have you question whether you really want that product next to your skin,” adds Going Green Cheap and Easy.

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